Opportunities to support young people’s learning and development are normally shared and spread across various spaces, places, and delivery modes in schools, community organizations, and families. But a month ago, most of those places were abruptly shut down, thrusting families into the lead coordinating role. Learning and development didn’t stop – these are natural human processes. But the unevenness of supports became a lot more apparent, even within extended families.
I spent time this past week listening to nonprofit colleagues across the country who are sharing stories about how they are helping and learning from their national staff, their affiliates, local partners or schools, and the local staff, youth, and families they serve as they all adjust to this new normal. The stress on this sector is real, but the responses are incredible as many of these organizations scramble to help families and schools figure out what happens when out-of-school time is all the time.
In Puebla, a city of about 1.5 million people in central Mexico, there’s a school with a name that may only sound familiar to people from southeast Michigan. With a combination of active, experiential learning, a strong focus on social and emotional skills, and opportunities for building connections with land and community, Colegio Ypsilanti has been providing high-quality education to children and youth from preschool through high school for the past 35 years.
Close your eyes and imagine what an outstanding school looks and sounds like. What comes to mind? Young people collaborating and solving problems together? Or everyone at a desk memorizing facts for an upcoming test?
The Opportunity Index uses 20 indicators across four dimensions to provide users with a numerical measurement of opportunity across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The four dimensions of community well-being are: the economy, education, health, and community. To better understand how each dimension and its indicators help to craft this unique score, the Forum will take a deep dive into each, identifying its impact on opportunity, implications for change, and policies that could help communities move forward.
Moving from Research to Implementation in Social and Emotional Learning: Exploring the Kernels of Practice with Stephanie Jones
There’s a growing consensus in the youth-serving field of the vital importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) for young people. Research over many years suggests that preparing children to be caring, ethical, contributing adults requires supporting them to develop social and emotional skills. These skills include focusing and deploying attention, understanding and managing emotions, empathizing with and respecting others, navigating social conflicts effectively, and standing up for principles of justice and fairness.